By Tracy Record and Patrick Sand
White Center Now/West Seattle Blog co-publishers
First word arrived via a tweet directed at us by Caffé Delia, with a photo of newly opened Mardi Gras Donuts and the message, “Donuts! In Rat City!” So we headed over to investigate.
More than the donuts, it turns out, Mardi Gras Donuts is all about the beignets.
That’s what proprietor Michael Williams (“call me Mike”) told us.
The donuts are a sideline to the beignets (ben-YAYS, as he pronounces it in his New Orleans accent – “New Orleans-born and raised,” he says proudly).
He’s been open a few days at 9828 16th SW (a storefront that’s been a bakery before). Signage just went up yesterday. No decorations inside, and when we walked in, we wondered if he would tell us he’s not really open yet. But — he is.
His marquee item, the beignets, are 3 for $2.25. He says he’s making and selling other types of donuts because that’s expected – cakes, glazed, honey buns, apple fritters, twists, donut holes.
He’s here as what sounds to be the latest stop on a cross-country journey of sorts. He worked in a donut shop in New Orleans that gained fame via a Food Network feature in 2011. Later that year in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, he opened his first Mardi Gras Donuts shop, featured in local news there.
Deciding to make a move, Williams said he almost wound up in Fargo, North Dakota, where he owned some property. The prospect of deep-freeze winter was a little much. Talking to a wholesaler, he heard Seattle didn’t have much in the way of beignets. So, here he is.
6 am-8 pm for starters (Williams says he’s still figuring out the hours depending on how the customer flow goes), and during the morning, they’ll make hot glazed donuts while you wait. P.S. – Cash only.